EE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS -- ARN Recycling BV is the first company to operate the new CCM20RT delamination mill produced by swissRTec. The CCM20RT is based around the same design as its predecessors, the CCM10 and CCM15RT, however it makes a big step forward in power and size.
ARN, an experienced processor of ASR in the Netherlands, is producing nonferrous metal concentrates using sinkfloat techniques. The metal products separated by these systems typically include metals not easily recovered earlier in the ASR system by magnets and eddy current separators. The composition is a mix of cable, hair wires, plugs, connectors, PCB, plastic and organic residue.
It took ARN one year to do all necessary trials with different separation techniques at recycling companies and machine builders before building up a business case for recovering NF-metals from ASR. This comprehensive study showed that the swissRTec process was the way to go for fine copper recovery due to the balling and liberation effect of metals within the delamination mill.
The swissRTec process
The swissRTec SRT2 module is a recent edition to the flagship Tiel plant. The SRT2 plant is well known in the ASR field with a number of installations already running in Europe and worldwide.
There is a high value associated with metal concentrate fractions destined for the SRT2 process; copper contents may vary from 5-25%. The main outlets for this metal concentrate include shipping to Asia, reprocessing in Europe or in-house processing. When a recycler is producing a large enough volume then recycling in house becomes an attractive proposition.
Mario Zoellig, swissRTec¹s managing director, states that the SRT2 system in Tiel adds to a growing number of references in the ASR field. ³We see the ASR sector as active and growing at a time where many recyclers face difficult times due to declining commodity prices. Recovering the metals within ASR to a level where they can be sold to European refineries and smelters is a further step in the direction of a true circular economy and allows customers to derive maximum value from their material,² he says.
The delamination mill is at the centre of the swissRTec process and works on the principle of impact milling where materials are exposed to many collisions with the rotor, stator and other objects. Composite material, such as cable, comprises of PVC and metal together as one object. Metals become liberated and ball shaped after exiting the delamination mill and subsequent steps of screening and density separation produce clean metal fractions which can be sold directly to smelters or refiners.
The CCM20RT is based around the same design as its predecessors, the CCM10 and CCM15 RT; however, with a 2-meter rotor diameter and 630kW max power rating it makes a big step forward in power and size. With the development of the CCM20RT machine, swissRTec is able to deliver a high throughput plant with a high quality output to match.
ŒThe swissRTec process was delivered in July 2015. According to Allard Verburg, ARN manager of business development, ³During commissioning it was already clear that a plant capacity of 2.5 ton/h was within grasp using the CCM20RT delamination mill. The capacity is really key because ARN operates a continuous process for ASR processing and the process is only as effective as it weakest link.² After delamination, the material is screened in five size classes for further treatment at the density tables. The density tables are separating a heavy NF-metal mix and a light organic plastic mix. Loss of metals within the reject plastic fraction is below 2% and can be further processed for higher recovery. The NF-metal mix is further separated on the offline unit where heavy metals such as copper and brass can be separated from lighter aluminium. A magnetic fraction is also separated. The experience of ARN is that the fine particle sizes, below 1.5 mm, gives the highest copper grades. A copper grade of 95% plus had been achieved and analysed by the copper smelter.²
Verburg adds, ³The remaining plastic mix fractions should find a market as well. ŒThis is the next challenge in optimising this process. If we find a customer for these materials, we can even further improve the ELV recycling achievements.²